Pretty much I’ve never had what I would call a “nice” Valentine’s Day. At least not in the traditional sense. It’s not like I’ve spent a lot of time wallowing in self pity or grief or anything, but it’s never been something I look forward to because I can’t recall one, single or otherwise, that hasn’t sucked. Part of the reason is because it’s smack dab in the middle of February. And really, unless you live in the tropical latitudes (and I never have), nothing good can happen in February. If there were any month I’d want to be completely wiped off of the calendar, it would be February. Apologies to some very dear individuals whose birthdays are in February. You would be given the opportunity to choose a new month. May I suggest a nice April or September?
I’ve never had particularly high expectations either, which is almost even more frustrating. A nice box of Godiva truffles. Maybe a pretty but small plant or flower arrangement that involved more effort than stopping by the supermarket. Dinner reservations. Never happens. Not that I even care, but it just becomes comical how things seem to get worse every passing year.
This morning I had high hopes. I ordered all the boys, Barry included, gourmet Valentine’s Day sugar cookies. Alex’s were extra special because they were characters from The Wizard of Oz. I was greeted this morning with a kiss and compliments telling me how sweet I was. Of course I had been sleeping, and since I haven’t slept well lately, would have preferred to keep sleeping instead of being woken up at 5:30 am, but whatever. Everyone was surprised and happy, the day was going well. I even got David to shovel the driveway and sidewalk with very little fuss.
I had planned on making calzones and salad and tortellini for dinner, something everyone would actually eat. And just as I was about to start on dinner, the phone rang. It was Barry, he was still at work and the car wouldn’t start. So off I went, and before I left I asked Cameron to empty the dishwasher, to which he protested, and I made it clear that I was going to be in no mood to do it once I returned home. So after driving to my husband’s office in rush hour traffic, I found that his friend was already there, they jumped the car. Thankfully it was nothing more than the battery, but as far as romantic things we could have gotten each other for this trite holiday, a car battery was pretty far down on the list.
When I finally got back home, hungry, and ready to start on dinner, I found that the dishwasher hadn’t been emptied, and flew into a rage, slamming cabinet doors as I ranted about how it’s pretty pathetic that I wanted ONE thing for Valentine’s Day, and that was to come home to an empty dishwasher, and my child was too selfish to make that happen for me. Maybe an overreach, but I was pretty pissed.
Barry didn’t get home until after dinner was ready because, predictably, he’d stopped by the grocery store to buy a sad little bouquet of daisies and carnations for me. They were nice, and I appreciated the gesture, and thanked him, but even Alex understood that I was underwhelmed. “I thought you’d be happier,” he said. By then Justin was acting all kinds of crazy because of a Valentine’s Day candy sugar high and fatigue, everyone was at each other’s throats, and all I really wanted to do was finish up with homework, watch The Big Bang Theory, and put everyone to bed.
Thank God tomorrow is just an ordinary day. Holidays are too much damn work.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2013